American Legion Post 179 Log cabin History

Officially the Cabin’s history can be said to date from the night of March 13, 1933, when under the heading of “New Business” the Post membership authorized the formation of a Building Committee, with full power to acquire the present site and build a cabin. However, like other events, much of the human interest and reasons for its being would be lost unless we go further back for the beginning of our story. Troop Number Five of the Boy Scouts which was sponsored by the Post, was quartered in the garage of a private residence. The Post 179 Scout Committee wanted to establish the boys in more suitable quarters, and it was this desire that started the movement which finally resulted in the building of the Cabin. The committee of Post 179 American Legion members put their heads together and secured the consent of the City Council of San Anselmo to erect a small cabin on the Recreation Park property, for the joint use of Post 179 and Troop Five. On Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12, 1933, Post members started to haul some used lumber and few redwood logs. The desire to build a Post building has been smoldering for a long time, and when the work actually started, this became a flame of enthusiasm which demanded a larger and more lasting structure. With the foundations underway for a small Troop cabin and materials on site, the work halted. To achieve the goals of the Legion membership for a larger facility negotiations started on the purchase of two lots bordering the Park property just east a few hundred feet from the original site, and an option for a year was obtained. Up to this point all the work was done by the Post Scout Committee and the Post Building Committee, all without the official sanction of the Post. Without the perseverance and loyalty of a few, the Cabin as we see it today would not have become reality. . After the resolution to build a larger cabin had been put through on the floor at the Post meeting by the old “Steam roller” method on March 13, 1933, we soon were off to a flying start. The plan for the new cabin had been drawn, with a meeting hall of thirty by fifty feet and four smaller rooms along with store rooms below (later to become the “Dug Out” bar). With the option on the land resolved, obtaining materials was our next problem. True, we had no money, but in looking back, we know we had a far more important asset, which, for the want of a better name, has been called “intestinal fortitude”. The generosity of our friends was another great help. Those who had redwood trees, cement, lumber, hardware and the other necessities were called upon, and they came forward responding wholeheartedly. Friends of the American Legion are many, and the memory of their generosity with which they gave to help us will ever remain in our minds, with the hope that some day we may reciprocate. It was necessary to borrow equipment which we did not have, such as a pole trailer for hauling redwood trees, motor truck and so on, almost without number. The Veterans divided their work into two teams. One crew worked on the Cabin, and the other hauling trees. Each Sunday the logging detail cut and hauled some one hundred and fifty redwood trees, ranging in length from forty to seventy five feet. The first load of logs was hauled out of the hills around San Anselmo on April 23, 1933 and a grimy, tired bunch of Veteran loggers called it a day. Sunday after Sunday the “logging detail” worked to bring in eight to ten logs a day, until the task was completed. Excavation and foundations started on April 8, 1933, followed by redwood pillars: then the flooring, side walls, roof trusses and on March 18, 1934 the roof shakes were installed. Along with other work the massive fireplace and chimney was built. This was done by a master mason, who back in 1914 to 19918 was soldier in the German Army, who later became a loyal American Citizen. He also fashioned by hand the two large American Legion emblems which adorn the fireplace and chimney. The plumbing, electrical, and cabinetry was all performed by Veterans and other volunteers. Veteran craftsmen milled an alder tree to build the blue grey chairs and rostrum still utilized today at post meetings. The Post 179 Log Cabin was completed and opened at a Dedication Ceremony in San Anselmo on Sunday May 27, 1934. The Post 179 Log Cabin and its history exemplify the spirit of the American Legion which continues to this day to bring Veterans, Boy Scouts and Community together. The spirit of Post 179 founder’s lives on today as members and friends continue in their efforts to support Veterans and our Community. Few people know that Post 179 continues to support such groups as the Boy Scouts, Little League, Parks and Recreation, Narcotics Anonymous, San Anselmo Fire Department, Friends of Corte Madera Creek, Marin County Registrar of Voters, Blood Banks, and San Anselmo Flood Relief Fund. In additions, the Post provides many other services to Marin’s Veteran Organizations and the local community. Post 179 is committed to providing services to those in need, never asking anything in return. Note: Text incorporates speech given by Post Building Committee Member George Corwin in 1934.

 

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